What Woodworms’ Presence Can Mean for Property Owners

What are woodworm?

Woodworm is a broad term for wood boring beetles including the Death Watch Beetle and the Common Furniture Beetle, the two most common in the UK.

How does a woodworm infestation start?

They don’t fly, that’s a common misconception. Woodworm may blow in to a property from soft or hardwood trees nearby or be installed in the item of furniture or timber already when they arrive on site. Perhaps via a reclaimed timber joist, a damp piece of furniture from a garage or an antiquity made from wood. They do not migrate habitually so one affected piece does not indicate a property-wide infestation.

How does a woodworm infestation continue to live?

The mother lays her eggs in safe positions to allow them to hatch 10-14 days later and they tunnel in to their new habitat-food source; they eat the cellulose in the timber to survive.

As larvae and pupa, they can spend between 2 and 5 years in the same area of timber.  When the pupa matures in to beetles they leave the timber to mate. This stage of their life lasts less than 2 weeks.

Do they hibernate?

Woodworm don’t hibernate or die off in cold weather like other pests, they enjoy a cool damp environment which is why autumn and winter are the greatest risk seasons for a woodworm infestation. They find it difficult to thrive in dry wood that offers less ease of movement and nutritional value.

Why are woodworm dangerous in a property?

The timber experiences up to 5 years of tunnelling and cellulose consumption for every woodworm in an infestation. So, if there are 30-50 woodworm in it for over 1800 days, that would place the timber at serious structural risk, significantly reduce load bearing capabilities and holes, not wood, would be prevalent. Timber in its optimum condition is extremely strong, as it’s turned in to a lace-work pattern, this is an increasing health and safety risk.

Can woodworm affect insurance cover and mortgage applications?

Yes. Never procrastinate about seeking professional woodworm infestation treatment specialists. Due to the level of damage that’s possible, a survey carried out by a qualified and experienced pest controller is essential to accurately assess the severity of an infestation, the appropriate way to treat woodworm and any timber treatments, repair or replacement work that’s needed. All work comes with 20-30 years guarantees.

A specialist like Thames Valley Timber Treatment’s team members will also be able to confirm if a suspected woodworm issue is historic and if no new treatment is required.

Mortgage lenders and insurance companies normally won’t accept assessments or treatments by a property maintainer or owner because it is not under a guarantee or backed by qualifications, industry accreditation or substantial knowledge.

Peace of mind comes via professionals; don’t take unnecessary risks with chemicals to treat woodworm yourself, your property and personal safety or the wellbeing of guests to the premises.

Speak to Thames Valley Timber Treatment’s team today for a swift, effective service.